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Page last updated at 11:44 GMT, Wednesday, 7 April 2010 12:44 UK
Animal magic comes to Pudsey Park
The West Leeds Country Park Visitors Centre
The West Leeds Country Park Visitors Centre has a whole host of educational exhibits

The latest Leeds visitor attraction has opened its doors in Pudsey.

The much-anticipated West Leeds Country Park Visitor Centre is located in Pudsey Park.

The new visitor centre will be free to enter and is located in the former aviary building in the park.

The aviary has been extended and refurbished in a project managed by Leeds City Council's Parks and Countryside Service.

The new-look building is a celebration of the diverse range of wildlife and habitats to be found along the West Leeds Country Park.

The park is actually a 32km circular trail which runs from the city centre through a green corridor heading towards Bradford before looping back towards Leeds taking in a path past the historic Kirkstall Abbey and the picturesque Leeds-Liverpool Canal along the River Aire.

The visitor centre contains snapshots of key habitats along the route of the country park, with native wildlife on display including rabbits, harvest mice, brown rats, birds, moths, butterflies and fish.

The West Leeds Country Park Visitors Centre
Bring the outdoors indoors at the West Leeds Country Park Visitors Centre

The distinct sections of the centre include a stone-built farmhouse barn, interactive woodland area, recreation of the Leeds-Liverpool Canal complete with lock gates, aviaries and six new aquariums holding native species of freshwater fish including trout, carp, roach, tench and pike.

The centrepiece of the aquarium section is a giant central tank which holds approximately 13,000 litres of water and will be filled with a variety of fish.

Each section includes interpretation boards and educational information to help people of all ages to learn more about the animals and where they can be found in the wild along the West Leeds Country Park.

The new visitor centre also has an activity and community room ideal for hosting meetings, events, presentations, school groups and arts and craft sessions, and it is hoped local environmental community groups will be keen to host events there.

The West Leeds Country Park visitor centre is housed in the old aviary building close to the Church Lane entrance to Pudsey Park.


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